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Grade Level K-4, 5-8, 9-12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Subject Matter Physical Science
Target Audience Students
Event Focus There are currently more than a million near-earth asteroids (NEAs) with a diameter larger than 40 meters. Asteroids of this size can penetrate our atmosphere. Of these there are currently 849 known PHAs (potentially hazardous asteroids) which have the potential to make a close Earth approach. From movies and TV shows many people expect the earth is going to be hit by killer asteroids. What potential danger do they really pose and is there anything we can do to avoid or prevent contact?
Weblink to Program For more details click here

Asteroids present a beautiful, ancient, and potentially Earth-damaging element to our Solar System. Many formed during the beginnings of our Solar System 4.5 billion years ago, and all of them have very different, and sometimes eccentric, egg-shaped orbits. Occasionally, these orbits do cross the orbit of the Earth, and at times they have entered the atmosphere and either landed or burned up. Larger asteroids may have created large features on the Earth, such as craters and water basins. Learn about current and future NASA missions to study asteroids, gauge their threat and find out about Internet resources where you can learn more.
Instructional Objectives
  • 100% of the participants will know that asteroids are sub-planetary solar system bodies.
  • 100% of the students will recognize that NEAs present some cause for concern.
  • At least 80% of the students will be aware that Earth has been affected by asteroid impacts during its history.
  • At least 70% of the students will be able to contrast the characteristics of asteroids with those of planets.
  • 70% will be able to devise ways to address threat of an asteroid collision

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    Comments: 9
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    Written by: Roger On: 11 May 2010

    Just an update on Apophsis. Latest radar data on it's orbit have downgraded it to a 0 on the Torino scale with a 1:250,000 chance of a collision in 2036. More refinement will be available in 2013, but most astronomers do not currently consider it a threat to Earth.

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    Written by: Brian Hernandez On: 26 May 2009


    JPL offers some things for multimedia, podcasts etc for near-earth objects. Like this one: 

    Keeping An Eye On Space Rocks: A multimedia presentation (flash)

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    Asteroids Presentation
    Written by: Brenda LaRocque-Hill On: 25 May 2009

    Yes, I believe the students had a clear idea of how asteroids are a threat from participating in the video conference.

    The idea of possible future impacts was clearly explained through visuals, which the students did not have the opportunity to see or ask questions before.

    Thank you Roger for an excellent presentation!

    Brenda LaRocque-Hill

    Keewatin Career Development Corporation - KCDC

    First Nations SchoolNet - Saskatchewan, Canada

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    Written by: Ana Laura Rivas On: 23 May 2009



    My  4th. grade students were not aware  of the possibility  of asteroids  stiking our planet again   before their video conferece with NASA. It gave them a clear idea of what asteroids are and how they could be related to our planet. 

    Quite surprised with the idea of possible collisions, they wanted to know, when, where, how, would it reach them, etc. But all their questions were patiently answered and at the end they felt relieved.

    But finally they



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    asteroid collision
    Written by: Roger Storm On: 15 May 2009
    We do talk about possible colliosions. The survey has only seen a 900+ meter asteroid called Apophis will have a near pass (18,200 miles) in 2029. There is a slim chance (1:45,000) that Aphphis would return in 2036 and strike the earth. In 2013 there will be a much better opportunity to get radar data on Apophsis and better determine its orbit. Stay tuned.

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    Asteroid impacts - the only natural hazard that in theory can be be eliminated
    Written by: LaurieRuberg On: 14 May 2009

    I was interested to see what NASA was doing in regard to asteroids.   A NASA website called, Asteroid and Comet Impact Hazards <> mentions that NASA is carrying out a comprehensive telescopic search for potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids.  This is called the Spaceguard Survey.  The website reports that resulted in the discovery and documentation of near-Earth asteroids larger than 1 km in diameter. I wonder if the Spaceguard Survey has identified any asteroids larger than 1 km on a collision course with Earth?  The risk of asteroid impact is small, but the consequences of such an impact would be huge and global in scale.  This makes asteroids a high interest, authentic topic for students. 

    Is this research and data included in the DLN Asteroid program? This is a fascinating topic.   

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    Written by: John Lucyk On: 07 May 2009

    I missed the event  'Asteroids' due to equipment not being there for me. I will try viewing this event again this Monday.

    The people in charge of the DLN are just great who should be commended Steve, Dr. Lesley, Damon,The 'Polar Ice' Crew from Houston to name a few. I met Dr. Lesley Garner at a UCF Conference and then things started to come together for me. A sincere thanks to you one and all.

    John Lucyk,Gifted Teacher from Florida

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    Written by: Mary McKeon On: 06 May 2009

    Yes, I believe the students have a relatively clear idea of how asteroids interact with with planetary bodies from participating in the video conference.

    The idea of possible future impacts was clearly explained.

    This program directly corresponded with the Ohio 8th grade science standards. 



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    Written by: Roger On: 13 Feb 2009
    Do you think this module clarifies the threat from potentially hazardous asteroids?

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